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10 Things to Consider From Premier Builders

by Joyce Eisenberg

Should you move or improve? With rising real estate costs, more and more homeowners are choosing to remodel their homes to add comfort, utility and luxury. From our years of on-the-job home remodeling experience, we’ve compiled a list of things you should consider in advance – before you add your dream kitchen, upgrade your bath or build an open, airy family room – so that you end up with space that adds value to your home and exceeds your expectations. The key? Plan, plan, plan, and work with an experienced contractor.

  1. Estimate how much longer you plan to live in your current home.
  2. Call a Realtor, who can assess the fair market value of your home and the value of various home improvements.
  3. If you are considering a new kitchen, for example, walk through open houses in your neighborhood and find out what a house with a new kitchen is selling for compared with a house with its original kitchen.
  4. While a kitchen and bath may yield a return on investment of about 80 percent and a home office will give you about 50 percent, you can’t count on much return from a home theater. But if the addition brings you pleasure, you might not care about the ROI.
  5. Consider what you like and dislike about your current space. Think about design and function. Exactly how will the new space be used?
  6. Visit model homes in new communities to see the latest trends and further define your likes and dislikes.
  7. Attend a home design and remodeling show to gather more ideas.
  8. Chances are, your neighbors are in the midst of remodeling. Take a look at their projects and gather advice from them.
  9. Get your home appraised to determine its value before you begin. You could then leverage that equity – with a home equity line of credit or a home equity loan – to pay for the project.
  10. Another financing source is cash-out refinancing, in which you take out a new mortgage, use it to pay off the existing one and remodel your house with the surplus cash.